There’s a difference between things that are inexpensive {meaning the price} and things that are cheap {meaning the look}.  The ideal situation is to achieve a high-end look for less, especially when you’re on a budget {and let’s be honest, most of us are!}.  The first step is finding the right venues to shop, but beyond that, it’s important to know what to look for in order to achieve the look you want.  Here’s the scoop on what to look for when you’re out shopping!

TIDBITS&TWINE - How to Get a High-End Look for Less


The Three Factors

There are three main factors that give home decor items a high-end look: materials, construction, and details.  Note that price is not one of these factors!  While price and quality often go hand-in-hand, they aren’t always related.  Just because something is expensive doesn’t necessarily also mean that it’s high-end!



One of the things that gives items their high-end look is the materials from which they are made.  The fabrics on high-end products are usually luxurious, yet also durable.  The materials are often natural, like solid wood or stone.  Items that are painted {even those that are distressed} have a more custom look to them and look less like they just came off an assembly line {even if they did}.  Also, high-end items don’t usually skimp on the materials, so they’ll have generous seam allowances, folds, gathers, ruffles, etc.  Look for inexpensive items that do the same.

When you’re out shopping, zero in on those items that are made from the better quality materials because a quality material instantly helps to give things a high-end look.

Bella Notte Pillows



The way in which an item is constructed is very important in how it looks.  For example, if you purchase an inexpensive chair with poor construction, the seat will begin to sag in no time and no matter how pretty the chair, it won’t look high-end if it’s falling apart!  {Note that this doesn’t apply to antiques which might have great construction but look a bit worse for wear due to their age.}

Casual Elegant Dining


Take a throw pillow for example.  You can find some beautiful down-filled pillows at discount stores and down pillows {or even feather ones} look and feel more high-end than synthetic stuffed ones.  It’s even better if you can find one with a zippered cover because no only can you change up the look without buying a new insert, but you can also wash the cover if it gets dirty to help keep it looking new.

Also keep in mind that sometimes, it’s cheaper to buy something just to get its quality construction even if you don’t necessarily like the item as a whole.  For example, it can be more economical to buy a down pillow from a discount store and just change the cover if you don’t like it, versus buying a down insert from a more expensive store.  The same is true for artwork and picture frames.  Discount stores often have large, framed artwork and great prices.  Even if you don’t like the picture itself, you can get a great deal on the frame and change the print out {or even make your own}.  You might have to do a bit of work or tweaking on an object to make it just the way you like it, but if the quality is good and the price is right, it’ll be worth the effort.



One thing that all high-end pieces have in common is their level of detailing – zippers, buttons, tufting, carvings, ribbons, etc.  When shopping, look for items that have a high level of quality details so that you can achieve the high-end look for less.  For example, button-tufted furniture is quite popular right now and is easy to find in discount stores.  But a true, quality button-tufted item has material that is folded and tucked into the buttons, not just a diamond stitched pattern that gives the illusion of tufting.  It’s these types of details that make a difference!

{A button-tufted sofa with the fabric tucked - not stitched - into the tufting to create a diamond pattern}
{A button-tufted sofa with the fabric tucked – not stitched – into the tufting to create a diamond pattern}



Achieving a high-end look for less is partly about shopping in the right places, but it’s also about knowing what to look for in those stores.  Pay attention to the materials, construction and detailing in order to make sure that you’re getting a nice, quality item at a great price that fits within your budget.  You’ll have to be patient, though, as these items aren’t always readily available.  You’ll also have to spend time sorting through the bad to find the good, which can be an overwhelming process for some, but if you know what to look for and have a plan, it can be an easy process that pays off big time when you find that great piece at a great price!


Tidbits&Twine - Signature




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